Posts Tagged With: outdoors

Look at all our awesome sponsors!!!

We owe a HUUUGE THANKS to all of our sponsors. Our kayaking expedition would be much harder to manage if it weren’t for their generosity. Plus we’re all super excited to enjoy all their sweet products and services. And without further ado…here they are!!!!

1. Hungry Hikers – A camping food company that makes hearty and healthy packaged meals for outdoors people on the go. They generously supplied us with lots of yummy camping meals to keep us happy and well-fed!

2. Kayak Chicago – Chicago’s finest kayaking company; the offer kayak tours, rentals, lessons, and more. They’re giving us basic kayak safety training before we leave. This valuable training could save our lives!

3. CF Trading Company – A new knife and crossbow superstore with a huge selection of camping knives, crossbows, and accessories. They are providing us with a nice variety of knives to use on our expedition.

4. Appleseed Camping – A philanthropic organization helping nonprofits serve homeless people & pets affected by natural & economic disasters. They gave us some nice thermarest pillows as well as other miscellaneous camping supplies.

5. KRAVE Jerky – Krave Jerky provides a variety of flavorful, high quality packaged jerky products that will create a new, healthful image for the product category. KRAVE will be giving us a variety of jerky snacks so we can munch on something that’s both tasty AND healthy on our expedition.

6. Parana Paddles – Larger and lighter than ping pong paddles, PARANA PADDLES are designed to help you navigate the waters in a kayak or tube. They will be giving us a pair of their crazy paddles (with special grips) to give us an alternative to standard paddles.

7. Indiana University Outdoor Adventures – Offers students and the community opportunities to build connections through outdoor recreation activities and leadership training. They’re loaning us some nice PFDs (life jackets) and throwing a few meals our way too!

8.  Paracord Store – Offers a wide variety of high quality paracord 550 that will prepare you for anything from a weekend camping trip to an disaster/emergency situation. They gave us a generous discount on the paracord we’ve been using to make the survival bracelets we’re offering on kickstarter.

9. Going South: Hiking the AT with a Brain Tumor – Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February, Bill Powell decided to be the first to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (length of over 2, 100 miles) with his condition, and is writing a book and photo journal about it. Thanks for the financial support Bill!

10. Robin Smith –  He told us, “We are only on this earth for a short time and we all need to make the best of it by following our dreams and desires”. — Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the financial support Robin!!

11. David Barnes – The author of “The Hungry Kayaker”, a common sense guide to both cooking and camping, with and emphasis towards the weekend paddlers. He sent us his fantastic book and made a pledge on kickstarter as well.

12. PaddlingFan – A website that connects kayaking, canoe & kayak fishing enthusiasts to paddling trails in Florida. You’ll find detailed listings of trails, launch sites, river conditions, downloadable maps & more! Thanks for the financial support!

And a special thanks to Leave No Trace and Paddle4Peace for teaming up with us! They’re a couple amazing non-profits that promote peace and environmental awareness.

Support us and get our movie, paracord bracelets, and other cool prizes — ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT !!! 

To learn more about our expedition and get all the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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Hey Look, We’re in the News!

This is the start of what will hopefully be a growing collection of links to articles and posts about Expedition Mississippi in other blogs, websites, online periodicals, etc. Also includes a couple live, streaming podcasts!

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1. Our Alma Mater, Indiana University just published a piece on us (with a couple nice photos like the one above!). They also list the gifts we offer at various price-points, but some these are now LOWER! 🙂

2. We wrote an article for the non-profit organization Leave No Trace, describing why environmental awareness and their organization is important to us.

3. RVNN.TV had us on their live, streaming podcast twice. Once to interview us about our expedition, the other time to introduce us to Geocaching and speak with expert Andrew “HeadHardHat” Smith.

4. Our 15 miles on a teaspoon of peanut butter got published on the Bucketlist Blog: 2 People hiking almost 50 miles on 3 “meals”

5. A summary of our kayaking project (including backgroung) as well as both of our Bios was published on CamoRidge’s website. CamoRidge is an outdoor specialty store and hosts a large online community with various discussion forums.

6. The first post made on an outside blog about our trip, titled “Crazy Kayakers”, by ContributeUK. The Brits honestly think we’re 100%, certified insane. I would say we’re only 50%.

7. Our kayaking expedition was also mentioned by David Barnes in The Ramblings of a Rogue Kayaker: “2012 the year of Kayaking Expeditions”. Barnes is a culinary kayaking expert (can’t say that about many people!) who generously offered to send us a free copy of his book, The Hungry Kayaker, “a common-sense approach to co-existing with nature while enjoying great food”. Thanks David, we can’t wait!

8. We’re prominently listed on Paddle4Peace’s website as “Paddle4Peace Ambassadors”. We’ll be working with this organization to spread the word about kayaking and the benefits of having fun outdoors as opposed to staying inside (especially for kids).

9. We were featured in a recent post by US Kayaks, a kayak supplier and kayaking news source in Sunny San Diego.

10. Kayakcanoeblogger.com, a new blog about anything paddling related, just posted our press release along with lots of great, full-size photos. Check it out!

11. Our camping & kayaking tips post was included in the Camping News roundup of the day on paper.li

Want to help us make a crazy awesome film of our kayaking adventure  AND support environmental awareness? Then support Expedition Mississippi (and get something cool in return!)

Also, feel free to follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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Matt and Jordan BIO

Jordan Sanders BIO

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Jordan Sanders is 25 years old, and grew up in the Chicago area. He’s currently living near Hamburg, Germany, where he does communication training as well as social media marketing consulting.

In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities like rock-climbing, hiking, and camping. He’s gone hiking in the beautiful Bavarian Alps in Germany, the Appalachian Trail, and would like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail at some point… perhaps with Matt for their next adventure!

In addition to adventure travel, Jordan also loves budget travel. When he’s not camping with Matt, he’s going on shoestring budget trips throughout Europe. He’s gone couchsurfing, traveled with group train tickets or rideshares, and cooked his own, budget-style meals to scrape his way through Finland, Bavaria, Switzerland, England, and the Czech Republic (with Matt).

Jordan also enjoys playing the drums. He’s been playing the drumset and other percussion instruments for over 15 years, and has been the drummer for several alternative rock bands in Chicago. As a student at Indiana University, he performed with Matt in many local venues.

Matt Lowers Bio

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Matt Lowers is 25 years old and currently lives in Bloomington Indiana. As a recent graduate from Indiana University, he is working part time as a server, baseball coach, beekeeper and Spanish language tutor all the while trying to transition into a full-time teaching position.

Growing up in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, He enjoyed much of his time outdoors. In his free time he finds himself hiking, running, snowboarding, and disc golfing. He has hiked the Appalachian Trail running from Georgia to Maine as well as completing the smaller Tecumseh and Knobstone Trails in Indiana twice.  Matt also enjoys Budget traveling. His adventures have taken him from Costa Rica, Western Europe, to all over the Continental United States and beyond(most often with Jordan).

Some of Matt’s other hobbies include playing/writing music (guitar, harmonica, piano), winemaking/brewing, reading, bird watching and simply getting lost.

Want to help these two guys make a crazy awesome film of their kayaking adventure AND support environmental awareness? Then support their project (and get something cool in return!)

To learn more about our expedition and get all the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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FAQ About Expedition Mississippi — Part 1


Q: When are you guys leaving?

A: We don’t have the exact date set, but we’re thinking of beginning the kayaking expedition sometime in the first week of June. It may seem far off, but we still have tons of planning and ground-work to do before then!

Q: Where are you leaving from and how far you will go?

A: This is an easy one to answer. We’ll be leaving from a small tributary near Matt’s place in Bloomington, Indiana (see map –>). This will lead into the Wabash River, which will later take us to the great Mississippi. From there, it’s a straight (and long) shot all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico!

Q: What are you doing to prepare for the trip?

A: Right now, the main thing we’re doing is telling as many people as possible, whether that be in person, or on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a ton of work – we’ve been putting 4 to 5 hours into this on average every day! It will all be worth it in the end though.

We also need to get in physical shape for the trip. Matt is hitting the gym in Bloomington, Indiana. I, on the other hand don’t belong to a gym. Instead, I’m working out at a local playground! You may laugh, but they have everything there…a pull-up bar, parallel bars for dips, and more. And it’s all F-R-E-E. Sure, I may get some weird looks from parents, but it’s all good…

Finally, we also want to get some basic kayak safety training before the trip. Kudos to Bryan Hansel, a kayaking instructor & photographer, for the reminder. We are looking into taking a class in the Chicago area. More details on this coming soon…

There are still a few more questions to answer, like “Have you guys ever done anything like this before?”, and “How can you afford to go on this trip?”…but those will be answered in Part 2 of our FAQ! So stay tuned…

UPDATE: Part 2 of the FAQ is now up

Help us make our dream a reality by supporting our project (and get something cool in return!)

To learn more about our expedition and get all the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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Why would you want to watch our video?

Some people have been asking, “why would people watch this?? Is it just a video of you guys kayaking down the river?”

The short answer: NO.

That’s been done before, and by professionals (with film crews!) with way more experience than us.*

And THAT’S the whole point.

The fact that we’re both inexperienced kayakers, going on such a crazy expedition should make this video ridiculously awesome! I (Jordan) have kayaked maybe twice in my life, for about an hour or two. Matt has kayaked a handful of times for a fun afternoon. That’s it. Seriously.

Keeping that in mind, I’m willing to bet we’ll encounter more than our fair share of misadventures, problems and hilarious/difficult/challenging situations. The film will focus on us overcoming these obstacles.

Matt encounters a monsterous, evil lizard while hiking the AT. Look at the fear in his eyes!

And that leads to another point. We’re also doing this to show you that if WE can do it, with practically no kayaking experience, YOU can do it. Or any sort of adventure for that matter.

I think the question should really be… Who WOULDN’T want to watch this video?!

Help us make our dream a reality by supporting our project (and get something cool in return!)

 

You can follow the adventure here:

Twitter

Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page

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*NOTE*  – There’s nothing wrong with pros making a high quality film documenting their journey. In fact, they’re often really fun and exciting to watch. (It’s just a different genre than what we’re going for). For example, see this video of Dave Cornthwaite. He set a world record by completing the 2404 miles of the Mississippi river all by stand up paddling! We have so much respect for this guy.

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